Editor Picks by Adam West


Faced with tackling an almost impossible task such as choosing my three favourite stories from all the amazing material we have published here on Literally Stories I decided the best course of action was to cheat.

I produced a long-list.

And here it is chronologically (more or less):

Listening In/Jon Green: Elsa/Tobias Haglund: Seven Days a Bag Week/Hugh Cron: Talk to Me/June Griffin: The Conscious Coward/Vic Smith: Waiting For Francis/Todd Levin: Beffroi/Tobias Haglund: 2.45 am./Todd Levin: Ella’s Ghost/Nik Eveleigh: Beach House/Diane Dickson: The Greatest Cock That Ever Lived/Dave Louden: Data/Scott David: Looking for Nipsey/dm gillis: The Woman Upstairs/Michael Mulvey : Where Cherubs Sleep/dm gillis: Reinventing Amy/Nik Eveleigh: Neon/Sharon Dean: The Woman Upstairs/Michael Mulvey: Interview With Lucifer/Frederick K. Foote: Where Cherubs Sleep/dm gillis: Black Roses/Jeffrey Miller: Apathetica/Nik Eveleigh: Joey Schaff…/Dave Louden: A Roaming Tat/Frederick K. Foote: Silent Treatments/Goran Sedlar: Underneath The Rose/Irene Allison: Swan River Daisy/Tom Sheehan: There is a Forest Here/dm gillis: First in Line/Patty Somlo: Dancing in Amsterdam/Tobias Haglund: The Plane That Flew Forever/GJ Hart.

I procrastinated but on a deeper level knew on whose chests I was going to pin gongs.

And the winners are…

Tobias Haglund for Elsa

‘Every time I stand too long in front of the mirror I feel the need to brush my teeth.’

One element that turns a good story into something special is an observation – albeit a mundane one – that you have never come across before. Some thing original. A weird little eye on the world that lands you inside someone’s head.

Tobias reveals complex and conflicting emotion in Elsa simply. Beautifully.

Scott David for Data

Opening lines don’t get impact much better than: ‘The soapbox prophets turn to bombs and the lines at the food pantries snake twenty blocks, but my algorithm cranks relentlessly.’

End-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stories are ten-a-penny so you better have an angle if you are going to grab your reader. Scott has an angle.

Style by the bushel load.

I know very little about algorithms but there is a wonderful beat to Scott’s writing that makes it a joy to read.

dm gillis for Looking for Nipsey

‘It was still December, but Reggie had a bug up his ass about the high school reunion in June.’

dm blends an earthy turn of phrase with an eye for detail – and a heck of lot more besides – though I suspect that eye is bloodshot and can’t tell blue from red! I don’t mean colour blind more that dm sees a world within a world, a reflection like something from a hall of mirrors and quite unlike anyone else. Whilst his writing reminds me of the humour of the likes of PK Dick and Kurt Vonnegut – the weirdness, too – he has a style all his own.


Adam West

9 thoughts on “Editor Picks by Adam West

  1. I am humbled, Adam. I really am! Not only did you include my pieces thrice , but you also managed to choose my favourites! Thank you very much. This piece certainly made my day…week…month… forever! ATVB my friend

    Ps. Your Swedish Vodka/bribe should be arriving soon.


  2. Great choices Adam – I’m dreading when my turn finally comes around as there are so many fine stories to choose from. Thrilled to have snuck three on to your long list!


  3. Veronica was sleeping in our motel room, and Sam and Blanche were loudly doing the wild thing on a strap down gurney in the Electroconvulsive Therapy Ward of the abandoned hospital near the lake. I guess that’s the sort of yawning banality that makes everything okay in the world, especially in the still hours round dawn.

    Thanks, Adam. This honour is the sort of thing that proves there’s more to life than Aqua Velva and TV dinners, goddamn it.


  4. Cheers Adam, maybe a cheaty (Is that even a word??) mention but I will take a mention any day!!!
    Thanks for all your support and advice my friend. It is a continual pleasure.


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